I've mentioned previously how much I enjoy wearing skirts in the summer, especially longer ones that I can throw a pair of capri leggings underneath and feel both comfortable and feminine at the same time. Lately, I've settled into a particular combination that's become both a favorite and almost a uniform: a maxi skirt paired with a plain, basic tee. It's an easy combination that offers plenty of room for variety and is fun to wear - there's just something about the flow and movement of a long skirt :). Pair a blue top with a lilac skirt for a symphony of blues. Try a laidback, sporty gray heather piece with sweet textured lace. Contrast bright stripes with classic black for a moodier take on summer. I've especially been attracted to combinations involving less refined, slightly boxy tees with broad, ribbed trim. The key to the look (and keeping it casual-office appropriate, if, like me, you choose to wear it to work) is to pair those super-casual tops with a more formal skirt: pleated pieces, ones with a sheen to the fabric (or even sequins :), eyelet or tulle confections). Save the super-beachy knits and crinkle-fabrics and for another day. A fully tucked tee works perfectly for skirts with a structured material and/or non-elastic waistbands. Or, try my favorite styling method: knotting the tee at the side-center of your waist (approximately below where my shoulder and collar bone meet). (PS this looks fabulous on elastic-waist pieces, since it ups their formality by camouflaging the elastic). Center-front and back knots work quite nicely too! Use the knot to dictate where the waist of the tee falls: at the same height as the skirt’s waistband for a classic look, lower for a slouchier and slightly blouson effect, higher if you’re in a situation where you can show off some skin (or throw a cami underneath and get that color-block thing working for you). The cami layered below is also your friend if you’re giving this a try with one of those infamous see-through tees. One last styling note: if you're a fan of cap sleeves (or just need them shorter for reasons), def consider rolling your sleeves - it s great way to add casual polish and create more visual curve by accenting your shoulders. And now, to shoes! Shoes are crucial for this styling. The look sets up a dynamic of equally weighted formality-informality and your footwear should walk a similar line. Chunky-heeled sandals are my top choice with wedge espadrilles hot on their heels (har har :)). Mules are an on-trend way to capture that chill-meets-polished vibe. Other options include boots of nearly any variety and, if your skirt isn't super formal, sneakers (yes to sneaks with stripes, less yes to sneaks with lace - not saying it's c'est impossible, just a bit trickier to make cohesive. Flat sandals are 100% acceptable as well - think more "leather slide" than "flip-flop". Happy styling, loves!
In a dramatic reversal of the predominantly dark and urban aesthetic of Reputation, Taylor has peppered in several rainbow sequined looks – a modern update of the feminine, glamorous Old Taylor. They make for welcome moments of lightheartedness, a reflection of the brighter outlook that infuses a significant portion of the album. And they’re seriously fun to try out! ;)
This look lends itself to a variety of iterations. To replicate Taylor’s look most precisely, start with a sequined, rainbow-striped dress…because who doesn’t have one of those handy? ;) (*raises hand*). If you do though, I advocate slaying this look for days rn; it’s trendy, gorgeous and a jazz. Finish it with Taylor-approved fierce ankle booties: think military, biker, lug soles, chunky heels, plenty of attitude. If you are not currently the possessor of a rainbow sequined dress, a multi-colored striped dress sand sequins is a more accessible way to try out this look. I’ve gone with a maxi here, but midis and mini will also do nicely. All three lengths can work with Taylor-approved booties (as described above) with the caveat that the maxi should not fully cover the boot shaft. If you’re maxi is to the longer side of the genre or you just feel like skipping the booties today, consider finishing the look with on-trend slides. They’re easy, laidback and on-trend and their chill aesthetic fits superbly into the vibes of the Rep era. If your closet is both sequin-rainbow stripe-free and multi-color stripe-free, you can make a simpler striped dress work. The key here is to subtly add in several of the rainbow shades the piece is without – accessories are your friends! With this sporty yellow fit-and-flare dress, I’ve envisioned riffing on Tay’s look by adding bracelets in green, orange, red and blue. Rings or delicate necklaces could be used in a similar way. Don’t freak over adding every missing color back – note that I skipped purple; just make sure there are two or three other shades in the mix – just enough to convey that rainbow-y concept. I imagined reinforcing the athletic feel by completing the look with sneakers and while I chose black because of the way it echoed the narrow stripes in the dress, you could easily swap them out for colored sneakers and use it as a way to get one more color into the palette (purple anyone? :). If you’re sitting there with your hand up about to mention that you have no striped dresses of any kind, fear not. I hear your wish. All you really need is a suitably Rep-ish canvas to build your rainbow on. Start with a t-shirt dress, a casual sheath, a tee paired with a denim pencil skirt or distressed shorts. Keep the whole shebang neutral (blue denim totally counts as a neutral). Add Taylor-approved booties as per ^ there. And as with the simple striped dress, complete the look with rainbow accessories: glittering rainbow belts work, multi-hued earrings work, rainbow scarves work. Alternatively, grab a rainbow’s worth of mono-hued scarves and twist them together to create a rainbow piece. Use it in place of a belt, or add knots all along the twist and tie the ends together to create a DIY infinity scarf. I hope this inspires you to get your rainbow on sometime soon and experiment with the lighter, brighter side of Reputation. Happy styling, loves!
Taylor’s End Game mv is jam-packed with great looks. This combination is a twist on one of my favorites: a sparkling oversized hoodie paired with fierce moto boots. Like, yaaaaaas, girl! Doing the look irl probably is going to call for pants in most situations. If you’re re-creating it with Taylor’s casual street vibe, reach for an interesting legging (think one with paneling, track stripes, leather accents – anything that’s a touch beyond standard, plain knits (although, those can do in a pinch. Stick with solid black if you go that route)). If you’re taking this look somewhere a bit more formal (say, the office or a night event), consider slim, cropped suit pants instead. They’ll create the right silhouette while looking a bit more polished. Swap Taylor’s plain black bandeau for a sequin tank: all the power of the glitter, lots more versatility. Use a jacket to create the cool, slouchy feel of Tay’s look. For chill versions, try a solid, sporty or patched bomber (a floral one will give a softer, more feminine effect, but is totally doable!), or a boxy denim jacket (boxy canvas pieces are fab, as well!). The key here is “oversized” – that’s what gives the look it’s effortlessness. You want something that hangs past your waist and doesn’t hug your curves. If need be, borrow one from your bf/brother/not-sure-whose-but-it-was-in-the-closet-so :). Finish this version off with ankle booties that exude toughness: biker, military, lug-soled and chunky-heeled styles are just the ticket. If you’re doing the more refined riff on the look, you’ll still want a boxier, squarer cut: think double-breasted blazer or boxy tuxedo jackets. A knit blazer is another option that can strike the right balance of refined and relaxed. Alternatively, play up the tougher attitude that defines Reputation by going with a military-style jacket. Finish this rendition with pointy-toed ankle booties (hardware welcome!). Make sure your pants end an inch or two above the top of the boot shaft, unless you’re using a mid-calf pair that you can tuck you pants into. For both versions, stay minimal with the baubletry; let your sequins do the talking. Messy-curled Taylor-hair and a couple of famous friends joining you for your own carpool karaoke = optional :). Happy styling!
Taylor Swift is one of my darlings, both for her lyrics and her fashion sense. Not only does she use fashion to express her individuality, but also each individual album. I love the way Taylor uses her clothes not only to communicate her persona as a whole, but also her current, transient moods and outlook. Girly, but glamorous dresses reflected the fresh, ladylike optimism of Speak Now, vintage fashion expressed the bittersweet intensity of Red. Coord sets were the trademark of the cool modernism and slightly acidic sagacity of 1989. Reputation is a cataclysm of bliss meeting darkness, anger and pain and her fashion reflects that, ranging from urban, punk-tinged oversized jackets, boots and camo to rainbow sequins. The breadth of the influences makes this a super fun era to be inspired by even if it’s dragging me toward some uncharted territory as a style fan. If you’re heading to one of the shows, if you’re feeling that dark-warrior vibe or if you just need a shot of that Taylor feeling in your wardrobe, stick around. We’ll be exploring ways to create several Reputation-themed looks in a series of Inspiration Boards.
One of the most eye-catching looks from the Look What You Made Me Do video featured Taylor on a throne in a stunning red maxi dress. Hers happens to be designer – if ya got one of those, by all means rock it! If not, np. Obviously, the basis for this look is a red dress, but the fabric choice is crucial. You’re looking for something drapey, flowing, fluid. Think chiffon, georgette, even jersey in a silhouette that’s to the more formal side. Avoid poplins, faille, anything stiff. Also skip collared pieces and anything that looks crisp and polished. Curve-hugging is a probably not, curve-kissing is a yes, as are blouson styles. The tone here is one of woke-up-like-this ease and movement. If you are fluid-red-dress-free, try DIYing the look of one with a maxi or midi skirt and a blouse (same fabric and silhouette rules apply. Don’t be afraid to do a color-block version with a black blouse and red skirt or vice versa, or even all black; the color adds intensity to this look, but it’s the way the fabric moves that is the essence of the styling). While the cutout/nude fabric sections of Taylor’s gown give it fierceness and luxe attitude, you don’t need that precise vibe in the dress; your shoe choice will create that effect. Metallic gold heels are the order of the day and straps are fabulous, be they minimal (like these ankle straps) or multitudinous, like Tay’s. Slides will work, sandal-booties will work, even pointy pumps can be swung (def stick with pointies; round won’t carry the same forceful vibe). If you’re fresh out of fierce metallic heels, consider fierceness in copper or bff black instead. Go gold for jewels as well (feel free to mix in rose gold, black or black-and-gold pieces if you’ve gone with those options for shoes). Anything snake should be the first thing you reach for. In lieu of that, any piece with a little edge will create the right feel for this look: spikes, studs, chains, long and slim pieces with sharpness in the design. Add a sleek hairstyle – brushed flat and side-swept like Taylors or a very un-messy low pony: the almost-harsh vibe contrasts with the softness of the clothing fabric and amps up the look. Finish the styling with a fiery red lip. And you’re… ready for it! (Whatever “it” it may be that you’re headed to :)). Happy Styling (by Reputation)!
Summer officially kicks off this holiday weekend…woohoo! Picnic season is upon us and that always makes me ridiculously happy, partly because this is when I switch my closet over from winter and transitional looks to summer clothes and it feels like getting a whole new wardrobe. (I ttly recommend doing this even if you love in a place that doesn’t have drastic seasonal changes. Take about half your clothing and set it aside for six months (give or take) and don’t wear it at all. Then, switch out what you’ve been working with and use primarily the items you put aside. It’s such a great perspective-refresher.) And speaking of refreshers ..and refreshments (does that actually make a segue? I’m not sure, but I’m going with it :)), who’s headed to a picnic this weekend? I’ve got a fancier-than-usual event on my calendar this year, so while I often go with denim for casual, al fresco meals, this year I’m leaning toward a dress. I love clean, classic colors to kick off the summer, so red, ivory, navy and cobalt are first in my thoughts for color stories. With the strength of the athleisure trend, a sport-inspired number like this knit piece with its stripe-embellished bottom walks the perfect current-classic line. Any knee-length knit piece will give you a similar vibe: think cotton terry sheaths, polo dresses or ….. Stay impromptu tennis-match-ready by putting your hair in a pony of any height and adding statement earrings or leave it loose and go jewelry-free. Keep the look semi-fancy by completing it with flat sandals or wedge espadrilles. If you’re dreaming of denim for the weekend (and I can’t blame you ;)), consider going with an on-trend denim skirt instead of jeans. Pencil, pleated or A-line: it’s all good, so pick your passion. Get the summer vibe going by topping it with a striped tee or polka dot blouse. Put your hair in a messy bun for a casually polished vibe and finish the look with of-the-moment mules or block-heeled sandals. Thinking you might get drafted to the wiffle-ball team? Got ya covered! Stay competition-ready (or at least look like you are ;)) with track pants. I love going with brights on the bottom, but neutrals will 100% work too. Keep them from being too laidback by adding a polo shirt on top (leave the top button or two undone for an unstudied air). Alternatively, consider a minimalist bodysuit or a polished tank with a sporty detail (think halter-necks or racerbacks). If yours is a close-fitting silhouette, tuck it in. For a looser-fitting piece, style it with a half-tuck. Finish the look with sneakers. Cute baseball cap (either your own, or stolen…erm “borrowed”) optional. If you’re craving a dash of shine, go for an oversize metal watch. If you’re not feeling sporty at the moment, get inspired by festival vibes instead: top beige (or any other light neutral) chino shorts with a light-wash denim button-down (chambray and blue oxford-cloth will create similar vibes). Wear it half-tucked for a slouchy look, or knot it high or low for a sexier, 70’s feel. Alternatively, tuck it in with only the lowest-showing button done up and layer a lace (or crochet-detailed) cami underneath. Complete the look with neutral ankle booties and add earthy jewelry: tigers’ eye pieces, pendant necklaces set on silk or leather cords, a leather cuff. Let your hair blow in the wind. I hope this gets your summer-fashion inspiration flowing and that you have a fabulous time at whatever event(s) you’re heading to this weekend. Happy Memorial Day!
Thank you to all those who have served or are currently doing so; we honor you!
One of Givenchy’s trademark looks was tailored skirt suits. Audrey Hepburn wore a slew of them in How To Steal A Million; her sophisticated character, Nicole Bonnet, seems to have closet full, ranging from a gorgeous citron set to a lemon yellow ensemble to a patterned tan wool pairing to a chic navy number. It’s that fabulous navy that caught me this time around, especially styled as it is with bright white accessories – so perfect for right now! Givenchy’s suits generally incorporated pencil skirts, so definitely feel free to go that refined, sophisticated route with this look. I can totally see Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle doing exactly that! I chose to re-imagine the styling with a bit of a twist – the idea of a skirt suit rather than precisely a skirt suit. I love the concept of adding a contrast to the pulled-together polish of a blazer: a dash of femininity via a tulle skirt, a touch of laidback Americana with denim midi or some extra movement with a pleated piece. All three stay chic, while bringing an unexpected element to the classic blazer that makes it feel softer and freer. This double breasted version has a powerful and somewhat masculine vibe due to its nautical beginnings. It’s major on-trend at the moment and definitely worth giving some air time to. On the other hand, all of these variants work wonderfully with a single-breasted blazer as well. Echo Audrey’s white collar by layering a button-down below it. Add simple earrings in the metal tone that matches your blazer’s buttons – think round studs, minimalist geometric pieces or rope knots that enhance the nautical vibe . (If your blazer has non-metallic buttons, just pick your favorite metal, or go with pearls). Finish the look with white pointy-toe flats or kitten-heeled pumps. (Chic white hat optional :)) If you haven’t yet added white shoes to your wardrobe, nbd – consider navy, metallic, nude or never-fail-you black as alternatives. Also, if you're navy-blazer-free or navy-skirt-free, try this with any closely-matched neutrals. I hope this inspires you to give a skirt-suit(ish) look a try sometime soon! I can’t promise you’ll meet an attractive, art-fraud investigator when you do…but looking insanely sophisticated definitely can’t hurt your chances ;). Happy styling!
This scene, in which Audrey Hepburn as bookworm-turned-model Jo Stockton tosses her wrap above her head as she walks down the stairs as part of a photoshoot, is one of the most memorable and beautiful in the movie. It is the moment where Jo full steps into her own as a model. It’s more than just stunning cinematography, though; it’s also gorgeous from a fashion perspective. Her simple red dress and accessories are enviably elegant, demonstrating the full impact of a monochromatic look, which relies predominantly on color to create an impact. Her white elbow gloves and crystal statement collar necklace provide the finishing touches of glamour to this magnificent ensemble. The same principle works wonderfully for everyday wear – although we can leave the gloves and massive gems at home ;). The look follows the trademark elements of the Hepburn-Givenchy partnership: simplicity, tailoring, femininity. In this case, the femme vibe is derived from the way the silhouette follows the body, as well as the diaphanous effect of the floating scarf. Recreate the concept with a vibrant bodycon dress in a knee or midi length. The effect of the red is divine, but if that’s not your color, consider another saturated shade -like magenta, cobalt or eggplant – or create a softer effect with blush tones. Add matching flats, or take a cue from Audrey’s gloves and finish the look with a bright white pair. Classic black will of course also work fabulously if matching and/or white shoes aren’t yet among your wardrobe. Also, definitely consider kitten heels instead of flats if you prefer a heel with a midi length – I always do! Toss a monochrome scarf around your neck to add lightness and movement to the minimalist canvas. If you need to create space between the scarf and the neckline of the dress, twist the scarf (as if you were wringing water out of it) for the length you intend to wrap – that will make it narrower, while allowing the tails to fly free. You can also create less volume overall by leaving one tail draping down your back, instead of in front. Add simple jewelry: metallic stud earrings and/or a slim bangle as finishing touches. Classic silver and gold work beautifully, but I also love the idea of giving the look a modern twist by using rose gold as a subtle play on the trendy red-and-pink combo. And voilà…you’re ready for your very own Audrey moment. (A long staircase and a friend to take the snap is 100% optional ;)).
With the passing of legendary designer Hubert de Givenchy earlier this month, I couldn’t help but immerse myself in reviewing and admiring his work yet again. As a long-time devotee of Audrey Hepburn’s style, his most iconic works are immediately and intimately familiar: both LBD’s from Breakfast At Tiffany’s, the embroidered gown from Sabrina (and the film’s own LBD as well!), the red gown from Funny Face. The lace ensemble from How To Steal A Million is one of my personal favorites; it is achingly chic and so impactful! But he designed so much more than just dresses! Jackie Kennedy’s tweed suit during her 1961 visit to Paris, Audrey’s beautifully tailored overcoats in Charade, the ruffle-sleeved white blouse made famous by model Bettina -which would look perfectly at home in today’s style guides, paired with blue denim – were all his creations as well. Hepburn and Givenchy were lifelong friends and their collaborations – both on film and off – serve as a curated guide to his sophisticated vision: simplicity (also a defining characteristic of Hepburn’s fashion sense), boldly drawn shapes, and femininity - whether achieved through tailoring or embellishment. Although he retired as head of his eponymous fashion house in 1995, Givenchy never stopped sketching designs (by hand, with colored pencils). I love the idea of this incredible artist, dreaming away as ever, never giving up on his creativity!
All this binge-imaging naturally got me thinking about outfits that would fall into this genre :). The first that I wanted to explore was embroidery, famously seen in both the Sabrina dress (which actually was made by Edith Head and the dressmakers at Paramount, from Givenchy’s design based on the ‘ Inez de Castro’ dress from his 1953 Spring/Summer collection), and the gown worn by Jackie Kennedy to Versailles when meeting President Charles de Gaulle during her Paris tour. For Givenchy, the embroidery acted as the standout touch, the coup de grace of an otherwise edited look. I re-envisioned the concept in a less formal way – with pants, instead of gowns. A skirt would work perfectly, as well! I also leaned toward matchy-ier selections for an iconic vibe, rather than more off-beat and modern choices. Start with whatever embroidered piece you have and consider it your focal point. Then, add pieces around it that are intentionally simple: layer a basic black tee beneath an embroidered blouse. Add black suit pants with a straight silhouette. Finish the look with plain black flats. Keep jewelry spare, but add a polished bun to reinforce the classic chic feel. Alternatively, combine an embroidered sweater or sweatshirt with slim capri or cropped chinos or ponte pants (the fabric adds subtle, but important, elevation; resist the temptation to reach for leggings :)). Finish with pointed flats or ballets, either plain or with understated embellishments – yes to bows or buckles, no to gems and sequins), stud earrings and a sleek low pony. If you’re going with an embroidered skirt, reverse the concept and go with super-simple pieces on top: a fully-tucked, plain sweater or an unembellished button-down. Same concepts apply regarding refined hairstyles and minimal jewelry :). I hope this inspires you to try some Givenchy-esque embroidery in your looks! Happy styling :)
Chanel famously once said that women should have ropes of pearls. Ropes of pearls. The phrase immediately inflames my imagination, conjuring up abundance and drama. Who doesn’t want to feel that from an outfit? And how to get there? Chanel explained her meaning by example, wearing multitudes of pearls to give consequence and chic to a simple look. Layering jewels in this way always elevates an outfit, granting elegance to a little black dress and making a simple sweater into something far more intriguing. The latter look is the one I particularly wanted to explore – Chanel’s ease, translated into the more casual style of today. A bold jewlery look like this makes a strong statement that can be highlighted by setting it against a minimalist backdrop. Despite that, subtle variations can give the same theme slightly different vibes. The basic pieces are ridic easy: black sweater, blue denim. But exactly which black sweater? A chunky, slouchy version gives this look a street-style cool-girl vibe, especially when paired with cuffed boy jeans. A refined cable iteration creates classic chic that's enhanced by combining it with straight denim. Toss a button-down underneath for an extra touch of polish. A strong-shouldered or blouson-sleeved piece conveys sophistication and modern femininity when matched with slim or skinny jeans. Pick your passion...or try out all three ;).
Ok, now the crucial (and mad fun!) part: pearls -and tons of them! Grab whatever you have - the more lengths, the better! Combining multiple millimeter sizes is a definite yes. Mix it up: throw on one opera-length piece at full length, double or triple another...or two. Try a collar, a 24" piece and a 36" piece layered together. Include necklaces with pearls set in stations, and/or with chain in between. These designs are especially good for counteracting the formal aspect of pearls and giving a jaunty attitude to a look, so I love them with the chunky sweater/boy jean iteration. If you don't have such a piece, np - just layer in a long plain chain (you can also twist it around a pearl necklace of similar length) or a couple shorter ones in a matching metal. The striking gesture of multiple layers is enough to spice up the classic cable sweater, but feel free to throw in another twist by using multiple colors of pearls, or creating the look of a pendant by putting a knot in a long pearl strand (36" or longer will work). Ditto for the feminine piece with sleeve or shoulder details. Alternatively, play up the vintage vibe or add a dash of glam by pinning a pearl, metal or crystal brooch among your layered necklaces. Cement the vibe of each variation with your shoe choice: black ankle booties with the chunky sweater, classy pointed flats with the cable, simple black pumps with the ladylike piece. I hope this inspires you to try turning Chanel's phrase into your outfit of the day (or dayS :)) sometime soon! XO
There are few things more classic than an LBD topped with a glamorous statement necklace and finished with little black pumps. It’s just the kind of look to recreate if you’re a fan of classic style. Then again, I suspect few of us have even the slightest of reasons to be strolling up 5th Avenue at dawn in an evening gown…which doesn’t at all mean we shouldn’t give that a try sometime :). But it does lead one to wonder if maybe the vibe couldn’t be re-imagined via a somewhat more accessible pathway for the daily lives of the non-Holly-Golightlys of us. Result of wonderings: I think it can. How? With the end goal of retaining the sophisticated vibe of the Little Black Outfit, but in a less fancy way, I metamorphosized the classic LBD into a more versatile pairing of a slim cable sweater and wide leg pants. The movement of the wide, straight legs carries an ineffable chic that elevates simple pairings, while offering more freedom than a long gown. From there, it's the accessories that make this look. I chose a pearl torsade as a subtle homage to the Tiffany statement necklace and added a crystal collar for a bit more oomph. The simple canvas of the black monochrome pieces can balance out a super bold choice like this. Next, I tossed in a shot of trend in the form of white accessories: a white belt (which could be optional or exchanged for a black one) and white ankle booties. Black booties or pumps could 100% work, but I loved the crispness and au courant feeling of the bright white. The booties also serve as one more way to bring the look more toward the casual side. I finished the styling with a simple, but sleek up-do, or half up-do. Oversize sunnies are encouraged as well :).
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets-fashion fairy tale world, the home of my non-wrestling-related style musings and loves.